BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday held a roadshow here, a party stronghold which is witnessing a clash of titans with Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad locked in virtually a straight contest with Shatrughan Sinha, who seeks to retain the Patna Sahib seat on a Congress ticket.
Amit Shah arrived here after addressing a rally in Arrah Lok Sabha constituency where another Union minister, R K Singh, is seeking to retain his seat.
The roadshow commenced from the Kadamuan locality of the city, a stone's throw from the ancestral house of Sinha, who quit the BJP last month, at about 6.30 p m.
Perched atop an open vehicle with a saffron 'angavastram' around his neck, Shah was flanked by Prasad besides other senior BJP leaders like Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Union minister Giriraj Singh and state minister Nand Kishore Yadav.
The BJP leaders waved at crowds which greeted them with chants of 'Bharat Mata ki jai' and raised slogans in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
State BJP president Nityanand Rai stood behind Shah, carrying a mike, which he used to perk up the party workers marching on foot in the sweltering heat with slogans of 'Main bhi chowkidar'.
People stood on both sides of the road, many of them carrying flags with the party's symbol - the lotus and some others holding aloft huge cutouts of the PM, as the procession moved at snail speed, criss-crossing narrow streets towards its final point near the historic Gandhi Maidan.
Sinha, who won the seat in 2009 and 2014 on a BJP ticket, expressed displeasure over media reports quoting party sources that the starting point had been chosen to show the actor-turned-politician his place.
"I am the Bihari Babu. The son of the soil. How much the people of Patna love me is evident from the fact that I won with the highest margin for any seat in Bihar. Their talks of showing me my aukaat and haisiyat (worth) will boomerang on them. The people will give them (BJP) a befitting reply on polling day," Sinha said.
Earlier, at the rally in Arrah, Shah tore into the Congress for promising abolition of sedition law in its manifesto, and alleged that "they have been sympathetic towards those who chanted anti-India slogans in JNU and were put behind bars by Narendra Modi".
"We reiterate that we will not allow any attempts to encourage secessionism in Kashmir, and Article 370 will be abrogated once we return to power," Shah said.
Patna Sahib and Arrah go to polls on May 19 in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections.